The Career and Legacy of Senator Lamar Alexander
November 16, 2020
In this in-depth profile, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Chester E Finn, Jr. captures the life and service of three-term, retiring Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. Detailing his time as the Chairman of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, or HELP, Committee, Finn states that no one has had more “far reaching influence on American K-12 education” than Sen. Alexander, who was a chief architect of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 and the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act in 2018. Under his chairmanship, a remarkable 45 separate bills left the Senate HELP Committee to eventually become law, despite a period of increasing polarization. As he continues to work up until the day of retirement – currently in an effort to simplify the infamous FAFSA system and to permanently fund Historically Black Colleges and Universities – it is certain that Sen. Alexander’s legacy will last far longer than his three terms of service in the U.S. Senate.